Welcome to the Alt. Country Specialty Chart!
We are a collective of radio promoters, radio stations and fans who have an interest in promoting more country-based music, that has lost most of its voice on other similar radio formats. The last few years, AAA and indie rock (and even classic rock) have found their way into the Americana format. Most of the more twang-based material we initially tracked for Americana comes from specialty radio shows. Alt. Country's chart goal is to get back to our roots and start paying more attention to these incredibly important specialty shows that feature the music we honored to shine the light upon in the beginning of Gavin and AMA. We feel that will be a more accurate representation of the "countrier" side of the coin. Of course, this would include the harder edge (Cowpunk/Southern Rock, Contemporary Blues) as well as the softer side (Folk/Bluegrass) and the balance between (Rockabilly/Western Swing). We want to move away from adds based on names and histories and get back to the actual records that are out and happening so folks looking for new roots-based music can find it. Welcome home!
So what does Alt. Country sound like?
It sounds like Steve Earle, Neko Case, Bottle Rockets, Drive-By Truckers, Mary Gauthier, Jason Isbell, Old 97’s, James McMurtry, Lydia Loveless, Wayne Hancock, Dale Watson, Dolly Parton, Justin Townes Earle, Willie Nelson, Lucinda Williams, Lyle Lovett, John Prine, Joe Ely, Robbie Fulks, Lilly Hiatt, John Hiatt, Old Crow Medicine Show, Lucero, Kathleen Edwards, 6 String Drag, Two Dollar Pistols, Rhiannon Giddens & Carolina Chocolate Drops, Todd Snider, Tom Waits, Townes Van Zandt, KD Lang, Alejandro Escovedo, Shinyribs, Gourds, Kelly Willis, Backsliders, Bad Livers, Terri Hendrix and Lloyd Maines, Big Sandy & His Fly-Rite Boys, Billy Joe Shaver, Nanci Griffith, Bobby Bare, Bobby Bare Jr., Blaze Foley, Brent Cobb, Elizabeth Cook, Charlie Pride, Chatham County Line, Emmylou Harris, Rod Picott, Chris Knight, Dallas Moore, Chris Stapleton, Brandi Carlile, Cory Branan, Dan Baird, Luke Bell, Brennen Leigh, Dave Alvin, Slobberbone, Dwight Yoakam, Jessi Colter, Jim Lauderdale, Radney Foster, Gangstagrass, Hank Williams III, Karen & The Sorrows, Hayes Carll, Jack Ingram, Guy Clark, Rosanne Cash, Jason Ringenberg, Son Volt/Jay Farrar, Jerry Lee Lewis, Sarah Shook & The Disarmers, Jeb Loy Nichols, Jim Lauderdale, Loretta Lynn, Buddy Miller, Delbert McClinton, Ruby Boots, John Doe, John Howie Jr., Sturgill Simpson, Wanda Jackson, John Mellencamp, Jon Dee Graham, Waco Brothers, Jon Langford, Mekons, Sarah Borges & Broken Singles, Kinky Friedman, Kris Kristofferson, Ruby Friedman, Liam Gerner, Loudon Wainwright III, Marah, Lori McKenna, Marty Stuart, Mavericks, Mike Ireland, Linda Gail Lewis, Mulehead, Slaid Cleaves, Phil Lee, Noel McKay, Caitlin Cary, Randy Newman, Ray Wylie Hubbard, Robert Earl Keen, Sunny Sweeney, Rodney Crowell, Sam Baker, Scott H. Biram, Scott Miller, Southern Culture On The Skids, Steep Canyon Rangers, Larissa Tandy, Tom Russell, Tom T. Hall, Trent Summar & New Row Mob, Alison Krauss, Turnpike Troubadours, Van Morrison, Will Hoge, Will Kimbrough, Steel Blossoms, Yayhoos, American Aquarium, Drivin N Cryin, Fred Eaglesmith, Jerry Jeff Walker...and many more - maybe even YOU!
Noted promotions guru Joe Swank has owned and operated the in-demand Swank Promotions: Americana & Non Comm AAA Radio Promotions since launching the company in 2014. He previously worked at Bloodshot Records in Chicago as a radio promotor and tour press organizer from 2008-2014 and served as primary radio promotor at Yep Roc Records/Redeye Distribution in Haw River, North Carolina from 2001-2008. Swank has more than two decades experience in radio broadcasting both as on-air talent (morning show, afternoon drive, late night) and management (as program and music director) with additional time spent in advertising, copywriting and journalism. Swank currently has an Americana show The Y’allternative on WDBX (6 p.m. – 8 p.m. CST every Wednesday) and has self-released three albums of original material as singer-songwriter. Additionally, he has co-written material on the most recent releases from Two Dollar Pistols and John Howie Jr. & The Rosewood Bluff.
Jenni Finlay effortlessly shapes iconic careers. After all, her singular roster – a group including legendary songwriters James McMurtry, Mary Gauthier and Slaid Cleaves as well as rising stars Matt Harlan and Chris Fullerton – consistently climbs charts.
“Jenni Finlay works a record with passion, integrity and a deep coolness,” Ray Wylie Hubbard says. “She got me to #1 in four weeks. Proof enough.” “Jenni can do no wrong,” echoes Gurf Morlix.
Finlay expanded her business into artist management five years ago when legendary songwriter James McMurtry immediately signed on as her first management client. McMurtry says. “Jenni is now poised to take over the world.”
Finlay teamed up with Brian T. Atkinson to launch Eight 30 Records five years ago. The Americana power duo has produced and released such titles as Cold and Bitter Tears: The Songs of Ted Hawkins, Danny Barnes' Got Myself Together (Ten Years Later), Dreamer: A Tribute to Kent Finlay, and The Messenger: A Tribute to Ray Wylie Hubbard.
In memory of Laura Ellen Hopper
Copyright © 2019 The Official Site for Alt. Country - Photos by Brian T. Atkinson *Sarah Shook courtesy of Bloodshot Records* - All Rights Reserved.